Faithlife Sermons

Why We Gather

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

2 When fthe day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like ga mighty rushing wind, and hit filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues ias of fire appeared to them and rested1 on each one of them. 4 And they were all jfilled with the Holy Spirit and began kto speak in other tongues las the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And mat this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And nthey were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking oGalileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and pMedes and qElamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and rproselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And sall were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others tmocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

When fthe day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like ga mighty rushing wind, and hit filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues ias of fire appeared to them and rested1 on each one of them. 4 And they were all jfilled with the Holy Spirit and began kto speak in other tongues las the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And mat this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And nthey were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking oGalileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and pMedes and qElamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and rproselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And sall were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others tmocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

When fthe day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like ga mighty rushing wind, and hit filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues ias of fire appeared to them and rested1 on each one of them. 4 And they were all jfilled with the Holy Spirit and began kto speak in other tongues las the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And mat this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And nthey were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking oGalileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and pMedes and qElamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and rproselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And sall were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others tmocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Introduction
Brothers and sisters this is the Lord’s day and we will rejoice and be glad in it. Thank you for having me back. I’ll take that as either I didn’t do half bad last week or you simply didn’t know I’d return. I’d like to think the former, but maybe it’s the latter, I don’t know.
But seriously, thank you. It’s a rare treat at this stage in my life and ministry that I get to preach back-to-back weekends at the same church. So I look forward to sinking deeper into the book of Acts. Last week we dove into the promise of the Holy Spirit and what that means for us today. We remember from last week that we are empowered supernaturally, for a supernatural mission. Today we’re going to wade deeper into our treatment of the Holy Spirit because brothers and sisters we have a profound task at hand, to make disciples among all nations and it’s a mission far too cumbersome to shoulder just on our own effort.
So if you will I’d ask you to open to and as you find your way there I want to ask you, why do we gather? There’s kind of a saying that I’ve heard circulating amongst spiritual people when they say something like, “I’d rather be out fishing and thinking about God than sitting in church and thinking about fishing.”
Now, I love fishing as much as the next guy and I know what a saying like this intends to communicate and once you peel it back you do eventually stumble upon the biblical truth that creation testifies to God’s magnificence and glory, but for as long as the church has existed, so has this thing called the corporate gathering. So why do we gather? It’s with that in mind that I’d like us to open to .
d
Hear the Word of the Lord...
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
This is God’s Word… Thanks be to God.
Connection
Brothers and sisters I have fell under conviction as of late about my neglect of this third person of the Trinity and I feel like I might not be alone in that neglect that is why I have been so keen to focus on these first couple chapters of Acts and reflect on the rest of the book as we see this magnificent display of churches being birthed, lives being changed by the gospel, and thousands upon thousands coming to faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. What we get to be a part of today, this gathering, is special. This church has a long and proud history, no doubt but none so much as the fact that we all share a bloodline with the churches of old that exist to glorify Jesus above all else. And we read here how absolutely indispensable the Holy Spirit is to the livelihood of the church. I’ll simplify it this way...
Main Idea: The Holy Spirit is the means by which God’s people are both bound together and sent out.
So like any good baptist preacher I got three points in light of today’s Scripture. I want us to consider
why we gather
the content of our gathering
and the response to our gathering.
Main Idea: The Holy Spirit is the means by which God’s people are both bound together and sent out.
Prayer
Father,
We gather as your people today. Thankful that you allow us a place to worship and remind one another the faith you have once for all delivered to the saints. Father, remain with us here today, and every day. May the words of my mouth be holy and acceptable unto you. Speak now, Lord. Your people are listening.

vv. 1 - Why We Gather

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place...” A seemingly unimportant detail, just another mundane detail in the Bible but I was particularly struck thinking about this. Why do we gather? We see here in the ensuing verses that this is the “day of pentecost,” this is the event in Scripture that we look at and see God pouring out the Holy Spirit on His people and we see the inauguration of the first century church.This is the Helper promised by Jesus in and its the spiritual empowerment given to us to carry forth our supernatural mission, to see lives dwelling in sin and darkness come to salvation in the name of Jesus.
Illustration
So why do we gather? We gather to stoke the Spirit in one another as we come together. Brothers and sisters, I can be quite forgetful. I’m sure some of the brothers in here can relate. Before I leave for work, I kiss Becca good-bye, we’ll hash out what all the day holds, and there is generally a “honey-do” that accompanies me out the door.
“When you come home can you stop by the grocery? Can you pick up the prescription? Can you take care of this?” And I almost automatically file that away in the back of my brain where it will be very lucky to make an appearance back in the front of the brain. This isn’t meant to say anything against my wife. We both work and we got a lot going on so we genuinely need the both of us to help one another out to get everything we need, done. But again, I’m forgetful.
It’s not just me this is a characteristic of God’s people throughout Scripture. Time after time we receive account of miraculous happenings of God intervening on the behalf of His people and they worship, only to quickly forget. We remember the Exodus where God orchestrated the parting of the Red Sea, delivering the Hebrews from slavery and oppression only for them to eventually cry out in the dessert, “surely we had it better in chains, at least we weren’t hungry!”
Can you imagine? Being a direct beneficiary of one of the more significant events in all of history, and not but a matter of a couple of years later you are grumbling against that same God. But that’s exactly the point, we are a forgetful people.
So why do we gather? We gather to remind each other of this blessed gospel, of our savior who saved us from our sin. It is embedded into everything we do, . We greet each other in joy, we pray together, we baptize new believers, we sing , we teach our kids to sing all to remind each other why it is that we gather. Because we are a forgetful people and sin further obstructs our view. So we come here in the presence of brothers and sisters, we ask about life, we ask about the goings on of our community and most importantly we remind each other that Jesus loves us. Go ahead, turn to your neighbor and tell them… “Jesus loves you.” Go ahead.
I can try for a lot of things in this sermon but if you hear nothing else I hope that you remember that in the days ahead and when you come back next week, you remind each other once more.
f ch. 20:16; ; []

vv. 2-4 - The Content of Our Gathering

So what fills our gathering? What is this all about? We read here vv.2-4 about the stuff that fills God’s people, the Spirit. Now when I say content I’m not talking about content like we might normally think about it. I work in an office that pumps out news articles and we’re constantly having to contact writers and ask them to deliver content to us to publish, not the same here. What we see here is the content that makes up the church. The fiber, the fabric, this Holy spirit that both indwells each of us individually and also binds us together as God’s people.
You can’t be spiritless and be the church. God’s Spirit is what makes the church the church. We see that here as Luke says that it filled the house of their gathering and that it consumed these believers like a fire consumes.
How does this happen? This is where many people get a bit uneasy. There are entire traditions and denominations that will tell you that you are not a believer unless you display a spirit baptism. That you show these extreme, charismatic signs to prove that you’re the real deal. Some of you might be familiar or grew up in such a tradition. I humbly disagree that that is how you show your spirit-filledness, but I do think there is a number of ways to check your heart and genuinely reason with yourself whether or not you are living attuned to the Spirit’s leading. I want you to ask yourself...
How’s my prayer life?
Do I desire the gospel to make its way into my neighbors heart?
How’s my compassion? Am I bitter?
Am I serving those around me?
The last thing that I want from you is to think that if I do these things that I am automatically filled with the Spirit. But I do want you to answer these questions honestly and think deeply whether or not this gospel has planted roots in my heart or am I just going through the motions?
For the longest time our people have ascribed to sayings like “open but cautious” when speaking of the movement of the Holy Spirit and I just marvel in amazement that we would look at this entire person of the trinity with such skepticism. Do I want us to be discerning? Yes, but most importantly I want us to run freely into the embrace of this person of the Godhead that’s very purpose is to bind us together as family and send us out to evangelize those far off into the family!
What is the content of our gathering? What’s the makeup, the fabric? The Holy Spirit is our common denominator as God’s people. It’s that glimmer of resemblance that we see in one another who may not be our biological brother or sister, but its the knowledge that we will worship for all time in heaven with them when we arrive at the throne of Jesus.

vv. 5-13 - The Response of our Gathering

18 For the word of the cross is bfolly to cthose who are perishing, but to us dwho are being saved it is ethe power of God.

g [; ; ]
We see a beautiful, beautiful picture playing out in front of us in verse 5 and onward.

18 For the word of the cross is bfolly to cthose who are perishing, but to us dwho are being saved it is ethe power of God.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And mat this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language

h [ch. 4:31; 16:26]
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
Luke would later point out the peoples represented here: the Parthians, the Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians, etc., etc. and if you looked at a map of the real estate covered by the people represented here it would be about the the entire Mediterranean area, down to Egypt and busting into the Middle East and at the rushing of the Spirit they are all given these “utterances” and they are not foreign grumblings but rather a unified song of worship.
It’s the great undoing of , we won’t turn there but its the story of Babel of a proud people who say, “come let us build a great tower that reaches towards the heavens to make a name for ourselves.” Its a people who want to centralize, who do not wish to make God famous worldwide so God confuses their tongues, separates them out to different languages to humble them.
Now we have people spanning across the better half of a continent all speaking as one, people who will go out with this common song and tell of Jesus, the savior. We see here a number of nationalities some that are more central to the Jewish culture in Jerusalem, some that are more remote, Greeks and verse 6 has an interesting note including the Galileans.
I was mightily blessed to visit Israel in December. It was a wonderful trip that took us in and out of Jerusalem and we stayed one night in Galilee to see this place that was so central to Jesus’ ministry. And let me tell you guys, Galilee still reflects what it does in the Bible. It’s a simpler town. Farmland, more rural, all surrounding the Sea of Galilee which is probably closer to a lake than it is an ocean. But nonetheless the people that filled this town were not the theologians and philosophers of the day. They were the farmers, the shepherds, those who put in a hard day’s work for a living. So the Jews and Greeks are looking at one another and saying are these the farm boys that we hear speaking our language over here?
This is profound brothers and sisters. This shows us that we all have a role to play. I’m reminded of a professor of mine who is very open about his past as a rebel unbeliever. He drank, smoked, and openly denounced God until one day on the campus of the University of Georgia, Ronnie the chicken farmer shared the gospel with him.
As you can imagine, Ronnie the chicken farmer didn’t have a seminary degree. But you know what? While the gospel is this multifaceted diamond that glimmers with a new brilliance with just a slight turn, brothers we have a simple faith that simply requires us to lay it all at Jesus’ feet. This faith is even the for the Galileans, it was for a first-century ethnic Jew, that means its for you and for me as well.
As a point of application brothers and sisters… you know, one day for those who profess Jesus as King we will spend the rest of eternity worshipping Jesus in all of His glory and we will look across the multitudes and see people of every, every tribe, tongue and nation. And I can’t wait to see that. We will see people who look nothing like us. We will see people who grew up and lived completely different from us and we will have no other common denominator other than we are God’s chosen people, and what a sight that will be. So I want to ask you and encourage you in the days and weeks ahead, how are we engaging the people around or communities that don’t look like us?
God created a vast amount of different people groups in this world and never is it more apparent than here in that the gospel reaches across social and cultural lines with reckless abandon. Why? Because everything that fills this earth belongs to Him and He desires for many to come to Him. So let’s be a part of that mission. May we not just relegate our engagement to our dollars, but let us celebrate the different cultures that have arrived on our front doorstep in our communities and passionately share of about the God who binds us all together.
That is what a spirit-filled church looks like. A spirit-filled church desires many to come to glory. Famed pastor John Piper remarks in his book, Let the Nations Be Glad that, “the only reason that missions exists on this earth is because there are still places where worship does not exist.”
Some will respond with disagreement and as Luke details here there will be some here who respond with mocking. Onlookers believed it would make better sense that these thousands of people were drunk rather than believe that something supernatural had just happened. So too will you face those who would do anything to explain away the majesty of the gospel. “You really believe this stuff? You’re crazy.”
But Paul plainly says that this will be the reaction of some in 1 Corinthians 1:18
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
b ver. 21, 23, 25; ch. 2:14
c ; ;
d ch. 15:2; []
But the craziness of this gospel is what makes it so sweet. That there is a God so powerful and yet so loving that He would intervene in this world of darkness so that we could know a day where there is no more sin, hurt, or suffering. Is that not news worth bearing beyond Sunday?
e ; [ver. 24]
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
So brothers and sisters may we come together, stoke the Holy Spirit in one another; remind one another of this gospel that has brought us out of the darkness and into the light; and may we make our exit into this world telling of this old faith that binds together God’s people… Let’s pray.
i
So brothers and sisters may we come together, stoke the Holy Spirit in one another; remind one another of this gospel that has brought us out of the darkness and into the light; and may we make our exit into this world telling of this old faith that binds together God’s people… Let’s pray.
1 Or And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested
j ch. 4:31; 13:52
k See
l [, ]
m ver. 2
n ver. 12
o ch. 1:11; []
p
q , ; ;
r ch. 6:5; 13:43;
s ver. 7
t [ch. 17:32; ]
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), .
Related Media
Related Sermons